Cornerstone Recovery Period (revised)

Well, I’m back from the razzle dazzle, contemplative meandering and goofy conversations that are, collectively, the Cornerstone Festival. As usual, I didn’t listen to any of the bands.


Coming up with zombie jokes on a very tight deadline. Dave Canfield shows up at the Speakers Hospitality Trailer about thirty minutes before he has to perform as The Undead Comic and says, “Zombie jokes! I need zombie jokes!” My contribution: Why did the zombie dog cross the road? Answer: Brains! (You then proceed to ask other very familiar jokes with zombies clumsily inserted. The punchline is always “Brains!”)

Hearing that a very smart little girl has read The Magic Eightball Test: A Christian Defense of Halloween and All Things Spooky about thirty times and uses it to defend her love of Harry Potter books.

Paul Leggett explaining how horror lit was censored during the Fifties to such a degree that The Hound of the Baskervilles went out of print. Sherlock Holmes? Out of print? Back then, Paul was a kid who spent several years asking “Do you by chance have The Hound of the Baskervilles?” in every bookstore he could find. Now he has a collection of Hound of the Baskervilles editions from various countries. In your face, Fifties!

Mike Hertenstein’s wistful observations regarding the conflict between “no place like home” and “over the rainbow” / “the real world” and “Shangri-La” / “Pottersville” and “Bedford Falls”. I missed the second session. From what I hear Mike was working in his theories about Apollo and Dionysus, but wasn’t finished theorizing yet. I am hoping he will keep at it. History has taught me to steer clear of the Dionysian, but Mike may bring me around.

Having the annual conversation about how we need to collect these Imaginarium seminars in a book so they don’t go to waste. Let’s do this thang!

John Morehead’s “damn the torpedoes” approach to his seminar on contextualization, syncretism and missiology. John has moved from a Kingdom of the Cults approach — “You’re a cult member! Now hold still while I tell you all about it.” — to a Neighboring Faiths approach — “You like french fries. I like french fries. Come, let us reason together you and I.” Contextualization is simply working out the most effective context for communication, given that you are bringing the Gospel to a different culture. This involves learning indigenous customs, manners, symbols, etc. not merely to “spin” the Gospel in the guise of that culture, but to draw upon truths in that culture which correspond to truths in Christian theology. A genuine conversation with the culture, not camouflage. St. Paul’s Mars Hill encounter with Greek philosophers is, of course, a perfect example.

Asking around to see if mass was held on-site and finding that, though everyone was sure there was one, nobody had any idea where or when. So I ended up rushing from my session at 4pm Saturday to get to the Transportation Tent, hopping a van, convincing the driver to take me into Macomb, going to 5:15 pm mass, then walking back to the hotel. Worn out, I missed saying goodbye to everyone, as well as the Imaginarium showing of Robot Monster. Boo freakin’ hoo! If they ask me back again next year, I really have to get the logistics worked out ahead of time. Saw a family of raccoons though.

Eating vegetarian food. Very yummy. I never would have believed it.

Kim Paffenroth’s seminars on All Things Zombie. Kim is coming at this as a recent convert to horror movie fandom. He was an academic before he became a fan. And so far his exploration of monstermovieness has focused on zombie fliks. Which makes for a lot of very interesting insights, such as comparing Romero’s films to different “bolgias” of Dante’s inferno. I am in the process of reading his book on the subject, Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth. And Mr. Paffenroth’s zombie apocalypse novel–ambitious fellow, ain’t he?–is coming up next. Or maybe I’ll switch and read the novel first. Anyhow, the novel is titled Dying to Live. Also, apparently the popularity of zombies has not abated. Kim’s sessions were packed wall to wall, shambling room only.

Dealing with piddly turn-out for Imaginarium sessions not related to zombies. I think we need to advertise around the festival grounds with little postcards or posters or something. Or somehow connect every seminar with zombies. “Six degrees of separation from zombie Kevin Bacon.” That sort of thing.

Telling people what my seminar was about. People ask “What are you speaking on?” And I answer “Kitsch.” And they stare at me. More staring. I can read their minds. They are thinking “Has he got a fur ball stuck in his throat?” I repeat “Kitsch!” They think “He definitely has a fur ball caught in his throat.”

Seeing a little of what goes on in the Flickerings zone of the festival. Got to watch most of a movie called Train_man: Densha Otoko. A comedy about geek love in Japan. Highly recommended.

The Atlanta airport wanting 8 bucks to let you on their wi-fi! 8 bucks!

Feeling sad that my family wasn’t there! The kids really enjoy Dave’s S.T.A.K.E. meetings (Society for the Termination of All Kinds of Evil — I think). I really enjoy the kids. Plus, it’s fun when Susan hangs out in the Speaker Hospitality Trailer.

Scratching my head in amazement during the Imaginarium Talent Show. We had yo-y0 tricks, a real live opera singer dude, Dave as The Undead Comic (“Brains!”), more yo-yo tricks, a guy doing an At the Dentist’s Office routine from a Bill Cosby album, a girl reciting funny lines from real live people at her real live job at Fazoli’s (“Like, you know that movie where that woman gets possessed when she wakes up at exactly 3 o’clock at night? You guys! I woke up at 3 o’clock last night! Do you think I’m possessed? I mean, like, maybe the demons are taking their time!”), more yo-yo tricks, and a fellow who sang the entirety of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with mucho audience participation. And some yo-yo tricks.

Reciting I Corinthians 1:27 in my Bela Lugosi voice during my seminar. (Starts slow — “God-duh chowse de foooolish tings ov dee verld”– then builds to a spittle producing teeth gnashing rendition of “and de DESPISED tings!”)

I’ll be recording the sessions as ghidorah podcasts. So stay tuned!



~ by christianhalloweenfan on July 3, 2007.

4 Responses to “Cornerstone Recovery Period (revised)”

  1. Thanks for the “Kitch” to break up the days at Cornerstone…yes I was one of the few people to sit in on your talks…I heard your interview with Taylor Kent and just had to experience the imaginarium in person and I’m very glad I did!

    I’m looking forward to the podcast as I missed the Saturday session due to needing to get back to Pennsylvania! Also, I’m looking forward to reliving the genius that was “Three Legged Dog”

  2. Lint, it’s good to see you posting. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks for mentioning one of my seminar series as a highlight.

    On the zombie jokes, this bothered me in the airport on the way home. Work with me here. The joke that Dave told regarding a zombie eating brains – if I understand the basic zombie mythology – zombies don’t actually crave brains. They eat all kinds of body parts, and I suppose they wouldn’t turn down a brain or two, but they wouldn’t cross the road for one. They may not have enough residual memory to know the brain animates the zombie, but they wouldn’t seek out this specific organ for consumption. Leave it to me to take issue with the specifics of a zombie joke.

    Take care.

  3. Lint! So glad to hear that things went smoothly and that you and Dave were able to come up with a sufficient number of zombie jokes in a time crunch. Y’all are such professionals, I knew you could do it. ;^)

    Also glad to hear that there were no angry Christian cultural separatists brandishing automatic firearms or setting up barbed wire or checkpoints – and that you were able to get to Mass on Saturday. Freedom of movement is very important to our tribe.

    We’ll see if we can give you a ring in the next few days to catch up on all the doings. Blessings to you.

  4. No cast since JUNE!?!

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